Home Gym vs. Gym Membership

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  • So what are you guys doing and for what reason?

    We can afford to get a home gym or a gym membership, just not sure which one I would be more motivated to do/use more. What you you all think?
  • As someone who has done both extensively, I'd just comment that there are benefits to both. Personally, I'm tired of gyms and would love a really first-class home gym. Right now I have weights, a stability ball, bench, a portable DVD player (for DVD workouts), a cardioglider (so out of date), yoga straps and mat, fitness tubes, etc., etc., but a really solid weight machine or maybe a pilates machine or even a Total Gym would be great. No one can really decide for you ... maybe you could get the home gym this year and as you tire of that, get a gym membership until you feel like working out more at home again. It IS very motivating sometimes to just get up off the couch when ya feel like it on a Sunday afternoon and do your workout in peace and aloneness, or accompanied by pets, kids or dh. It's also great to get right to it in the a.m. without driving somewhere or to work out sans clothing ... which would NEVER do in the gym.
  • I would suggest getting a short-term trial gym membership before committing to a longer period. See exactly how it fits with your schedule and what machines you like best and what exactly they have to offer in the way of trainers and classes. Then decide if you want to put the money into a year commitment or if you find that it really isn't fitting to make it worthwhile, you will know which equipment you like best to purchase for home.
  • Good suggestion, Jules.

    There are also gyms in many communities subsidized by parks and recreation departments (e.g, the city or town) and these have day rates for residents that are extremely reasonable, usually $2-$5 dollars per day visit, less for longer periods.
  • I'm not Sonoma-ing yet, but this thread interested me. I am a gym bunny. I find I need variety and I need motivation of other people around me. I also find I need trainers about to help me when I get bored, confused or am plateaueing. I love my gym, although I am leaving when my membership runs out as the opening hours are not working with my work schedule, and going elsewhere. My gym is a community one and is very reasonably priced.

    I think whatever works for you is great. I wish I had the room to have a home gym as I think now I have learned enough that I would use it. Except I need a pool as I adore swimming, and I think a home indoor swimming pool is a bit beyond our reach!
  • I would love love love to have a home gym. My biggest issue right now with working out is the fact that I have to get out of my house to do it! Once I am at the gym I am fine, it is just getting there that I have a problem with lol.

    On the other hand..my gym membership is at the Y. So I do get a lot of extras besides just the gym...I get almost half off of programs and classes for my family, which comes in handy since my kids take 4 classes between them (cooking, swimming and gymnastics). That in itself makes the membership worthwhile to me. Plus we have swimming pools, a climbing tower, a roller skating rink, tennis courts etc that are free or also greatly reduced prices for members.

    If it were just ME, I would rather have the home gym..but for a family, I like my Y So, it kinda just depends on what you want out of your gym and what they can offer you, kwim?

  • I have used a gym for the last 8 years or so, different ones, and at that time they worked for me. Now they just dont. I think it all depends on where you are at and whats going on in your life, and what your goals are. At my last gym we couldnt run on the tredmills for longer than 30 minutes in peak time, well that wasnt long enough for what I was doing, and since I kinda have to work, I couldnt be ther ein off times. So I ended up running at home everyday, so I dropped the membership, and now do everything at home. But before I found what I wanted to do, the gym was awesome because it let me change my mind and try new things, Im sure Ill go back to it in a few years, just to try some new stuff. And I miss the indoor pool, but that just doesnt justify the cost right now. So thats my two cents! :-)
  • I'm going to do both.

    What I mean is we have an annual membership to the local Recreation Center, and I like all the components of it, if I want to swim or water walk I can, and I can take my daughter with me when I do these, if I want to work out on their weight equipment, I can, if my husband and I want to go over and play racketball for an hour or so we can, or volleyball, or just walk the track when it's cold and we can't walk outside it's doable. It is also about two blocks from where we live so it is convenient.

    I also want to build up something here, so that I have it availalbe, when life gets in the way and doesn't allow me to get the the rec center when I want. I just saw on TV that Gunthy Renker has come out with a portable pilates machine that I want to look into, it's relatively new, so I want to wait a couple of months and see if I can find some testimonials to it, it's ideal for right now because it is compact, I don't have the space for an huge home gym right now, but am hoping by the end of the year, we will have the remodel in the basement done and then I can get a more substantial piece of equipment.
  • I've used a gymn for the last 10 years or so, until this year. It seems that as your lief gets busier, every second counts, and I now have a cross trainer in my bedroom, so I can get home from work, jump on and all of a sudden I've done 50 minutes cv. The equivalent to get to the gymn (10 mins) park and change (another 10 mins), and sometimes end up waiting for a machine doesn't float my boat any more.

    My 50 min workout ends up at an hour and a half (and if you can't find an hour and a half then it goes down the pan) So home gymn for me for the moment, and the benefit is that you can work out wearing whatever you like!
  • My daughter and I joined a Golds gym for a year and at that time I just couldn't get to it enough to make the cost worth it. Didn't do anything for the last several years and then emptynest/turning 40 kicked in and i decided I needed to do something. A Slim-n-tone (think Curves) opened less about 5 minutes from my house--DH & I ride to work together so I take him home, change and go. It is a short concentrated workout and it is what I needed to get motivated again. I have some tapes I do at home but the VCR is dying and I am going to have to convert to DVD. I also want to invest in an elliptical for home. While at the gym, I really didn't enjoy the treadmill though I fell in love with the elliptical. I know I will use it if I make the purchase and almost have the money saved for a decent one.
  • I work out about half of the time at the gym. If you're starting to seriously work out, as others suggested, a short membership might be useful so you can try different things and see what you like.

    What I like about the gym is the variety available. I get bored really easily with working out, especially cardio, so I like to use different machines. I really like to swim, so enjoy the indoor pool. I also like the available classes, when I am in the mood for something different.

    At home I have a small set of dumbbells, a stability ball, yoga mats, and aerobic step which I use as a weight bench and it works ok. Right now I do all of my weight workouts at home, but may need to transition that to the gym because my weight set is pretty limited.

    Having the equipment at home was not any more motivating for me. I've had my home equipment for years and most of the time it got in the way or collected dust in a corner. It was always easy to find a reason why I could not workout and I had to become determined to make exercise part of my life.
  • When I used to go to the gym (Y) I also loved it once I was there, especally because of the elliptical. But I hated having to get dressed and look presentable and drive over there. I also didn't like having to wait for equipment and was also limited on elliptical time.
    For me,it is so much easier to do it at home and fit it into my schedule (although I have not been in an exercise routein lately, I am restarting now).

    I have a home gym with weights, bench w/leg weights, recumbant stationary bike and TV/DVD setup. What I *really* want is a quality elliptical that will stand the test of time (not a piece of junk). I thought I could get a good one for less than $1000, but after doing tons of research and reading all types of reviews, I decided that it would cost $1600, so I'll keep saving my money.
  • Another option~~ If you join (free) the Discovery Health Channel Body Challenge online, they will give you an 8 week free pass to Balys Fitness.
  • i'm doing that body challenge thing through my gym. they turned it into this team competition within the gym. you earn points for your team just by turning up to workout, more time per visit = more points. the winning team will get something at the end like free massages from the club or something. so it sorta builds upon the discovery health thing.
  • One question I would ask is how new are you to excercise? Do you have an athletic background? If you are brand new you may want to start in a gym to learn some of the basics. A trainer can help you develop a plan that works for you.

    If you are pretty familiar with the basics ( target HR, resistance training ...) you may be able to build something that works for you at home.

    I would just caution you to not get bullied into a long term membership right away. See if you can take it month to month or quarterly. It might be a little more expensive per month, but it is better than paying for 6 months you don't use at all.